Translation Trainees’ Uses of and Attitudes towards Different Types of Dictionaries: A Case Study

Nasrin Altuwairesh


The focus of most studies on dictionary users has been on foreign and second language learners, with seldom attention paid to translation trainees. Given that the dictionary is an indispensable tool used by translators and translators in the making alike, research in this regard is crucial to uncover the uses and attitudes of this group of dictionary users’ towards different forms of dictionaries. Revealing translation trainees’ practices facilitates the correction of wrong ones and helps in guiding students towards the efficient use of dictionaries. The ultimate goal is, thus, informing translation pedagogy. Hence, the present study aims at investigating translation trainees’ uses of dictionaries and their attitudes towards different types of dictionaries. The focus is on uncovering the uses and attitudes of Saudi undergraduate female translation trainees towards the different forms of dictionaries available for them today. The article in hand specifically reports on the quantitative phase of a two-phase, mixed-methods case study. A group of 95 undergraduate students answered a multi-item, online questionnaire, with the aim of revealing their dictionary uses and preferences. The results confirmed the participants’ preference for and heavy reliance on electronic dictionaries, due to their convenience, comprehensiveness, portability and being up-to-date. The results further indicated the participants’ preference for bilingual over monolingual dictionaries. Surprisingly, the results also showed that a high number of the respondents reported using Google Translate frequently. Despite these findings, the survey results revealed that the participants have good knowledge of and do in fact use a wide selection of bilingual and monolingual dictionaries, including paper and electronic ones.


Dictionary Use, Electronic Dictionary, Paper Dictionary, Translation Pedagogy, Translation Trainee

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